Industry Updates 

Important news and updates from insurance carriers, financial institutions, and solution providers for brokerage professionals and agencies. 

Please send announcements, press releases, or noteworthy developments to Jordan Foster for review and consideration.

Archives:  2023   |   2022   |   2021

MARCH 2023

Nationwide and Fidelity Investments® establish new distribution relationship
As part of the new relationship, Fidelity’s financial professionals are now offering the Nationwide Personal IncomeSM Annuity, a deferred variable annuity designed to provide growth potential, flexibility and guaranteed retirement income for life. It’s a product that may be ideal for clients who are retired, semi-retired or approaching retirement and who want to continue growing their savings with a guaranteed income stream.   

Principal® Survey Identifies Leading Disruptors of Retirement Industry By 2030
An aging workforce, Generation Z, the growing demand for personalized investment advice, and financial wellness are top of mind for more than 250 plan sponsors and 200 financial professionals that responded to the Principal® Future of Retirement Survey. Each are viewed as priorities in the next 5-7 years to help address the widening retirement gap that is approaching $4 trillion in the U.S.

Best’s Commentary: SVB Collapse Highlights Critical Lessons for Insurance Industry
The Best’s Commentary, “SVB Collapse Highlights Critical Lessons for the Insurance Industry,” states that just eight U.S. insurers have bond exposures greater than 2% of their capital and surplus, with the maximum being less than 5%. Whether these bonds will become impaired remains to be seen. The ramifications for equity portfolios could be more significant, according to the commentary, as some major bank stocks already have lost significant value. Five U.S. insurers have equity exposures concentrated in the broader bank and trust sector greater than their capital, and 17 have exposures totaling at least half their capital.

In Force Data Solutions from MIB Provide Unique Insights to the Life Insurance Industry
The MIB In Force Data Solutions portfolio leverages a contributory database, maintained by MIB on behalf of the life insurance industry, to provide insights that address a critical industry challenge – the need to understand an applicant’s total coverage exposure. The only data solution of its kind, the database was developed in partnership with TAI (Tindall Associates, Inc.), the premier reinsurance administration software in use in the U.S., and in conjunction with carriers and reinsurers who are MIB’s members.

ICYMI: Finseca’s Cadin Corrects Record on Problematic California Proposal
On the heels of the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature news, the principle of diversification is rightly being amplified. Though the ripple effect of the banking failures is yet to be understood, as a nation, we could be in very choppy economic waters this year. That means, we need to be encouraging more Americans to pursue holistic financial plans.

Wink, Inc. Releases Fourth Quarter, 2022 Life Sales Results
Noteworthy highlights for total non-variable universal life sales in the fourth quarter included National Life Group retaining the #1 overall sales ranking for non-variable universal life sales, with a market share of 12.9%. Transamerica Life’s Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL was the #1 selling product for non-variable universal life sales, for all channels combined.

U.S. Life Application Activity for Younger Consumers Rises
U.S. individual life insurance application activity continued to increase in February, and activity growth for applicants under 30 was especially strong, according to new MIB Group survey data.

Only 2% of Americans Can Identify Financial Solutions With Tax Advantages, Despite One-Third Wanting to Prioritize These Investments
As consumers focus on filing their taxes and spending those returns, a new study reveals a need for increased awareness around tax-efficient financial strategies. Lincoln Financial Group’s Consumer Sentiment Tracker reports that only 2% of Americans can correctly identify financial solutions with tax advantages, despite one in three saying they prioritize investments that would help them pay less in taxes either now or in the future.

Matt Berman Named President, Foresters Financial US and Canada
Foresters Financial™ (Foresters), the fraternal life insurer that’s boldly redefining the life insurance industry through innovation, purpose and wellness, today announced the appointment of Matt Berman as President, Foresters Financial US and Canada, effective immediately.

Life Insurers Boosted Premiums, Now They Are Paying Refunds
When interest rates fell to near zero after the financial crisis, dozens of life insurers boosted costs for longtime policyholders, seeking to improve results as their investment income fell. Now they are giving partial refunds to tens of thousands of these customers to settle a wave of lawsuits spurred by the increases.

Guardian Introduces SafeGuard360™ Offering Holistic Protection in a Single Solution
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian) today introduced SafeGuard360™, an innovative solution that offers essential financial protection for consumers in one product. SafeGuard360™ is an industry-first, patent pending product that includes life insurance, long term care and income protection benefits, helping individuals build the foundation for lifelong well-being.

Equitable Enhances Market Leading Buffered Annuity Suite
Equitable, a leading financial services organization and principal franchise of Equitable Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EQH), today announced enhancements to its Structured Capital Strategies PLUS® 21 and Structured Capital Strategies® Income variable and registered index-linked annuities (RILAs). The new enhancements are designed to provide clients with partial protection against market volatility along with the opportunity to capture upside market potential up to a cap.

Older Americans richer than previously thought, Census says
The Census Bureau found that the population overall had higher income and slightly less poverty than previously thought, thanks to a new analysis project, the National Experimental Wellbeing Statistics, or NEWS. The bureau is correcting survey data for a more accurate measure by linking the survey, decennial census and commercial data to remove errors and bias in income and poverty estimates. 

Less Than Half of U.S. Workers Are Aware of the IRS Tax Credit for Eligible Retirement Savers
“On top of the tax-deferred benefits of saving for retirement in a 401(k), 403(b) or IRA, the Saver’s Credit is an additional benefit that may reduce a person’s federal taxes. Many eligible retirement savers could be confusing these incentives, simply because the idea of a double tax benefit sounds too good to be true,” said Catherine Collinson, CEO and president of Transamerica Institute® and TCRS.

John Hancock expands access to Galleri®, GRAIL’s breakthrough cancer screening technology
John Hancock, a unit of Manulife (NYSE: MFC), announced it will expand access to GRAIL’s Galleri® multi-cancer early detection test to eligible life insurance customers participating in the John Hancock Vitality PLUS program, a significant milestone in John Hancock’s ongoing efforts to help customers live longer, healthier, better lives. The expanded access comes after John Hancock became the first life insurance carrier to make the breakthrough screening technology available to a pilot group of customers in September 2022.



AIG to Create Independent Agency to Serve Wealthiest Clients
American International Group said Monday it entered into a binding memorandum of understanding with Stone Point Capital, a private equity firm specializing in investing in businesses within the global financial services sector, to create an independent managing general agency to serve high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth markets.

DOL Fiduciary Rollover Guidance Struck Down by Florida Court
A federal court in Tampa, Florida, on Monday struck down the Labor Department’s guidance that declared rollover advice fiduciary advice.  The Florida court ruled that Labor’s interpretation of the five-part test setting out who qualifies as a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was “arbitrary and capricious.”

PGA TOUR and Pacific Life Announce Five-year Partnership
With the new TOUR relationship, Pacific Life plans to amplify its brand via broadcast and online advertising through multiple TOUR-owned media platforms. In addition, Pacific Life will support various tournaments on the schedule and also plans to engage with PGA TOUR players to deliver added brand awareness with a qualified audience.

Prosperity Withdraws Proposal to Acquire American Equity
Prosperity Group Holdings LP (“Prosperity”) issued the following statement, regarding its proposal to acquire the common shares of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company (“American Equity”) (NYSE: AEL):  “Prosperity is withdrawing its proposal to acquire American Equity for $45.00 per share. Given American Equity’s refusal to engage and our desire to proceed only on a constructive basis, Prosperity has no interest in continuing to pursue our proposed transaction at this time.”

Strict new privacy proposal would limit how insurers could use data
A state insurance regulator group is proposing a sweeping overall revision of privacy rules that would significantly restrict what insurers could do with the private information of consumers.  Public comment is being accepted on the Consumer Privacy Protection Model Law through April 3. It was released publicly Feb. 1 by the Privacy Protections Working Group, a body overseen by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Life Happens Brings Back the ‘Insure Your Love’ Campaign
COVID-19 reminded clients that people might die earlier than they expect.  Life Happens is trying to take a gentler approach to building life insurance awareness this month, by bringing back its annual Insure Your Love campaign.  The nonprofit group developed the campaign series in 2010, to associate buying life insurance with Valentine’s Day, and real love.

How An Annuity Can Help Protect You From A Retirement Risk You Might Not Even Know About
The sequence of returns is an important concept to understand when it comes to retirement planning. In fact, in certain scenarios, it can mean the difference between a successful retirement and one that’s not so lucky. In my experience as the founder of a firm that provides annuity services, I’ve found that the “sequence of returns” is one of the least talked about factors of finance and investing. While it could be understood in a rather complex way, I’ll keep this article as simple as possible.

MassMutual named to 2023 FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Company list
Notably, MassMutual ranked No. 1 for innovation in its industry category, the fifth time in the past six years the company has received this honor. The company has been named to the FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Company list 20 times since the year 2000.

Northwestern Mutual Makes $500M Investment in Downtown Milwaukee Campus
The development plans include extensive interior and exterior renovations to the 540,000-square-foot building to mirror the iconic and award-winning architecture of the Tower and Commons, new connecting structures, and a pedestrian plaza on Cass Street. The plan is contingent on City of Milwaukee approval of a tax incremental financing (TIF) plan that will bring millions of dollars in additional property tax revenue to the City.  

Three Rules To Help Make The Promise Of A Successful IUL Come True
If you are in the IUL marketplace, then you hear it all the time—indexed universal life policies will never come true. The criticisms are usually the same. That the illustrations and projections are unrealistic and so unbelievable that they can’t possibly come true. They say caps and participation rates will be reduced and the client will end up unhappy. One can easily argue truth to these statements because an illustration can be manipulated in all sorts of ways to over promise performance. Many years ago, our company founder Bill Zimmerman was tired of hearing these criticisms because he knew from his personal experience that IUL policies would perform. He set out on a mission to prove this to our advisors and their clients, and over the last 15 years, and tens of thousands of IUL policies later, we have found that if an advisor follows three simple rules, then the IUL illustrations should come true.

The companies of National Life Group expand suite of living benefits, adds Alzheimer’s and a fertility journey rider
The companies of National Life Group are expanding their suite of living benefits, adding Alzheimer’s Disease and a new fertility journey rider beginning Jan. 28. These expansions have the potential to support many, as more than 6.5 million Americans are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s dementia, and the average cost of one in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle is more than $12,000.

North American and Annexus Continue to Define Industry with Launch of North American Secure Horizon Choice Fixed Index Annuity
North American Company for Life and Health Insurance® (North American), a member company of Sammons® Financial Group and one of the largest issuers of fixed index annuities (FIAs) in the U.S.,1 has once again joined forces with Annexus, a premier independent designer of FIAs. The new North American Secure HorizonSM Choice (Secure Horizon Choice) fixed index annuity offers shorter 5- and 7- year terms and is designed to help clients reach their financial goals by offering growth and protection for their retirement savings.

Lincoln Financial Group Offers Faster Route From Planning to Protection With New, Fully Automated Life Product
As the world becomes more digitally focused, consumers expect ease and accessibility from their financial products. Lincoln WealthAccelerateSM meets those changing consumer expectations through a streamlined product with the advantages of indexed universal life insurance – access to a cash value component in addition to a death benefit – and the ease of a fully electronic process guided by an experienced financial professional.

Advisors Excel Raises Nearly $1.1 Million for Folds of Honor
The gift will help fund more than 216 scholarships for families of fallen and disabled military heroes and first responders across the country.

CFP Board to Split Into 2 Nonprofit Groups
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards says it is setting up a separate nonprofit organization to promote careers in financial planning and the public image of financial planners.  The new 501(c)(6) organization will be called CFP Board of Standards, while the existing 501(c)(3) organization will be renamed the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning — which is a program the group set up in 2015

2022 Industry Update Archive  2021 Industry Update Archive